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Faculty Guide to View: Why Information Literacy?

Why is Information Literacy Important?


Information Literacy (IL) refers to the ability to recognize a need for information and to find, analyze, and synthesize related material from books, articles, websites and more.

How Can IL Benefit Students?
A 2017 survey of 42,000 students in more than 1,700 courses at 12 major research universities showed that:

  • Retention rates were higher for students whose courses included IL instruction.
  • Students whose courses included IL instruction reported higher average first-year GPAs than those whose courses did not.
  • Students who took IL instruction successfully completed 1.8 more credit hours per year than students who did not.

How Can IL Benefit Faculty?

Students who are information literate are better able to come up with workable topics for their papers, research those topics iindependently, and write papers that conform to rigorous academic standards.

Why is Critical Thinking Important?

An ability to think critically is essential to a student's time in school and is a vital life-long skill.

Employers highly value critical thinking skills too, with a 2013 AAC&U study showing that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major."

It's not easy to teach students to adopt a new thinking style; in today's polarized environment, it can even be difficult to impart to them the importance of deliberate and critical thinking.

A Jump-Start on Media Literacy

These days, media literacy is a foremost concern for faculty and perhaps one reason why you are considering Credo's material for your classes. You can find instructional videos on disinformation (commonly called "fake news") and other aspects of media literacy under the "Preview" tabs in this guide. Ahead of that, here's a handy overview of the issues involved in assessing items from today's media, whether they are in print or online, as well as a tool you can use for that assessment.. This Credo webinar features Vanessa Otero, creator of the successful--and controversial!--Media Bias Chart.

See the webinar with Vanessa Otero